Monday, January 27, 2014

When Friends Change Your Life

Have you read the book about Ruth?

She is one of two women who have a book named after them in the whole Bible. Sixty-six books. Two bear the name of women. One was an orphan and the other a widow.

I don’t know how God contained Himself to weave her story in only four chapters, but He did. The irony is not lost on me, how this was the first book in the Bible I read from beginning to end, twenty-three years ago. To be honest, I didn't really understand her.

The book begins by introducing Naomi, Ruth's mother-in-law. Naomi’s name means “pleasantness.” But poor Naomi buries her husband and two sons, in a land far from her homeland and when she decides to return to her roots, one daughter-in-law clings to her. It was Ruth who refused to leave her side. And the famous line…  -one of my favorite lines in the Bible is uttered.

“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”

Even when it made no good sense at all, Ruth tells Naomi, “I’m not leaving you.”

This Ruth, who is grasping the hand of a woman who has renamed herself “Mara.” The name Mara means “bitter.” Ruth is devoted to a resentful, angry woman, with no means, no hope, no future. She is unwavering in her loyalty to a woman, in such deep pain, she doesn't even know how to be a friend in return.

But Ruth has the kind of love that stays.

These two women set their feet to the path that would take them home and the One who is Love, sweeps down to unfold a love story complete with a happy ending and our sweet Ruth gets swept off her feet.

And Ruth is listed in the history of mankind as the great grandmother of King David.

What I love, is that Ruth was a friend when there were no guarantees. She had no idea what would happen in her life, but her priority was to be a faithful friend to Naomi.
That commitment of friendship was a rare display of love. A tender love that endured hardship, was patient in the pain, kind in the mess. This friendship that was not self-seeking or self-promoting. Ruth, a true friend, that pressed into love a woman who called herself  Bitter. She loved, by living this love that stays. By being committed to the relationship even when, …especially when, the friend had nothing to offer in return.
Ruth displayed a friendship that is rare. A friendship that displayed commitment.

It will probably not be a huge surprise, when I tell you the meaning of the name Ruth. This is a Hebrew name, which was derived from the Hebrew word רְעוּת (re'ut) meaning "friend".

Yes. It made me raise my hands in the air and praise God. This God who redeems the broken hearts and the messed up stories. The God of Once Upon a Time’s and Happy Ever After's, the God who weaves life stories that are complete with all the elements that novels are made of. The setting, the conflict, characters, plot, and theme.

And His theme is always love and redemption.

Few of us have probably had friends like Ruth. Few of us have been friends like Ruth.

The thing is, a friend can change our life. A friend can change our story.

They needed each other to have the redeeming story that has survived all these generations.

Can I tell you that friendship has all kinds of faces? It will most often involve us stepping out, taking a risk, being known and spending time with other women who are willing to do the same.


Today you have an opportunity to connect in the amazing online community of  (in) This is my fourth session being a part of this beautiful community of women. They come from the four corners of the earth, with every kind of story.

This on-line space has made the world a smaller place.

If you are a woman, you are invited.

Just as you are.

Becausue a friend can help us rewrite our stories.


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© Rhonda Quaney